Secure hash algorithm directory
|The Secure Hash Algorithm Directory - MD5, SHA-1 and HMAC resources|
Hash algorithms are fundament to many cryptographic applications. Although widely associated with digital signature technology, the hash algorithm has a range of other uses. SHA-1 and MD5 are amongst the most widely known, trusted and used. When utilised with a password (the HMAC version), the potential uses of these algorithms extends further.
This directory is intended to serve as a start point for your hash algorithmic needs. It presents information, resources, API implementations of the algorithms themselves, and even the acclaimed Hash Calculator and Cryptography Toolkit products.
Whether you are entirely new to the topic, or whether you are a seasoned cryptographic practitioner, you should hopefully find something of value.
Theoretically, MD5 and SHA1 are algorithms for computing a 'condensed representation' of a message or a data file. The 'condensed representation' is of fixed length and is known as a 'message digest' or 'fingerprint'.
What makes this exercise useful, is that it is conjectured that it is computationally infeasible to produce two messages having the same message digest. This uniqueness enables the message digest to act as a 'fingerprint' of the message... opening up the possibility of using this technology for issue like data integrity and comparison checking.
For instance when you download or receive a file, you can use MD5 or SHA-1 to guarantee that you have the correct, unaltered file by comparing its hash with the original. You are essentially verifying the file's integrity.
It needn't be a file of course - any message or similar construct for which you need to ensure integrity can be verified in this way. All sorts of possibilities emerge...
SHA-1: The Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) was developed by NIST and is specified in the Secure Hash Standard (SHS, FIPS 180). SHA-1 is a revision to this version and was published in 1994. It is also described in the ANSI X9.30 (part 2) standard. SHA-1 produces a 160-bit (20 byte) message digest. Although slower than MD5, this larger digest size makes it stronger against brute force attacks.
MD5: MD5 was developed by Professor Ronald L. Rivest in 1994. Its 128 bit (16 byte) message digest makes it a faster implementation than SHA-1.
In both cases, the fingerprint (message digest) is also non-reversable.... your data cannot be retrieved from the message digest, yet as stated earlier, the digest uniquely identifies the data.
To make deployment of this technology more straightforward, this site can offer a number of easy to use resources: A Series of APIs/DLLs (MD5/SHA-1 and HMAC) and The Hash Calculator (a useful hash utility)
The Hash Algorithm Directory is delighted to offer a number of unique resources.... specifically, a set of easy to use APIs: MD5, SHA-1 and an HMAC versions.
These offerings should make your deployment of hash technology far more straight forward.To assist, you can immediately view the user manual.
Note that The Hash Calculator itself was built using this toolset and that the Calculator will also give suggested formats for calling the DLLs when an operation is performed (in the bottom right hand corner of the window)!.
The full product (including all the DLLs themselves and The Hash Calculator) is provided on payment of a nominal fee ($89) to cover our costs. Visit our online PURCHASE page to obtain your copy.
The Cryptography Management Kit is an ideal resource for anyone seeking to understand cryptography.
It comprises a whole series of components: guidebooks, presentations, audit kits, a substantial cryptography FAQ and last but not least, a library of source code for the most common algorithms (including DES, MD5 and SHA-1).
The kit can be acquired online and downloaded staright to a PC. For more information see the website dedicated to the kit: Cryptography
We hope that this directory has been of substantial use. If not present within the site itself, the links provided should direct you to a suitable source. If, however, you need any further assistance, or have any comments on this portal, please contact us
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